Are Selfies Killing the Photo Album?


Young people love to take selfies and don’t really care about printing photos and putting them in albums. That might not be the biggest shocker of the year, but a new British survey at least puts some numbers to this amateur photography trend that’s leaving us with a lot fewer prints and a lot more digital clutter.

The poll, commissioned by Samsung, asked 3,000 young adults about their photo habits, and the biggest finding was that a full 30% of the photos taken by people age 18-24 are selfies, with men more likely than women to turn the camera on themselves.


Other metrics include:

  • A total of 1.9 billion images are captured in Britain every month, with 328 million of those shared online.
  • Only a third of all young people think to put printed photos into an album.
  • On the other end, 13% say they’ve never used a photo album in their lives.
  • For sharing images, 53% of young folk prefer Facebook.
  • And 10% are uploading smartphone photos to the Web within 60 seconds of snapping them.

So to answer the question posted in the title: in short, yes… yes they are. On the other hand, there are plenty of non-selfie reasons to blame. Sure, an album full of self-portraits would be lame, but the bigger problem is that we don’t print our photos anymore.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: print what you want to preserve… and stop taking only selfies.

(via The Telegraph)

Image credit: selfie by kimncris and albums by Tiffany Dawn Nicholson (TDNphoto)

  • harumph

    I think you have a classic cause and effect logical fallacy at work in this headline. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc?

    The answer to the question is actually no. Selfies aren’t killing the photo album; online sharing/publishing is killing the photo album. The subject matter of the photos has nothing to do with the reluctance to print them.

  • dannybuoy

    Idiots. Printing a photo album is pure pleasure. Even if you don’t look at it for many years it’s much better to have faded physical photos than risk losing everything when a meteorite destroys all the cloud servers. I’m a bit drunk, but I think I’m saying something meaningful

  • Scott

    I’m not sure I want to look through an album of selfies anyway.

    I wouldn’t say they are killing albums but the can’t be helping. How strange and self absorbed would it be to have an album full of photos of yourself?

    Maybe it’s just me and because I’ve always been behind the camera but all of my photo albums are full of pictures of my friends and family.

  • Thomas Casey

    I don’t believe men take selfies more than women, I always see women doing it, rarely men.

  • Rabi Abonour

    To be fair, understanding the difference between correlation and causation is like, middle school level stuff.

  • Antonio Carrasco

    It’s cool. The best blog comments come from people when they’re drunk :)

  • Antonio Carrasco


    I never see any grown-ass men sitting there taking selfies. Pretty much only women. Do any of you have a friend on facebook that only seems to post selfies? Almost like they have some kind of mental issue and can’t stop posting pics of themselves?

  • Richard Hankin

    I walk he boardwalk taking photos and literally not hyperbole, see thousands of people during g the summer months and very rarely see men take selfies, usually it’s with tier female so but NEVER have I sen a single male take a selfie.

  • Dan


  • Bryan

    The best thing to solve this problem is shoot film.

  • bh

    What narcissism. I take somewhere around four selfies IN A YEAR. Is taking a photo of yourself really that urgent? I am more interested in the people and places outside of myself.

  • Renato Murakami

    Yeah… what’s killing the photo album among several other erm… traditions and customs that happened around photography of the past isn’t selfies, but a cultural change regarding photography itself. Selfies are a consequence of the mix between social networks, Y generation, curated lives, among another cultural phenomena of this century.
    The worst part is that even though print what you want to preserve is a good advice, I fear that lots of people nowadays don’t even have photos good enough for printing… lots of people do have photos they want to preserve (with friends, family, on trips… at least). But they are taken with iPhone in low light or worse, so printing it will only make it more evident how bad they look.
    Then again, this might be good advice, since learning that is fine too.

    Let me add one thing: DO NOT buy digital photo frames. They really are mostly worthless. Unless you have a very specific situation where it might be a good idea… but they are no replacement for photo albums.

  • Sarpent

    According to Betteridge’s law of headlines: “Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

  • A.G. Photography

    Printing is photography’s final product! Selfies are flat out retarded considering how bad they make people look! Double/Triple chins, misshaped heads, squinty eyes…they are literally against photography!

    But I guess they go hand in hand with the owner’s IQs! Obviously these people think all their angles are great!

    The problem with albums is not so much the selfies, but rather social media! People don’t invite people over to their homes anymore, they share everything online with complete disregard to common sense! I wrote about it more here:

    You would have to sit on a couch somewhere to flip through an album….how many of you will do this at home, alone? Make sense? I have many albums from my film days, and I don’t take them out of their storage bins…unless someone comes over, and we get into a conversation where it is pertinent to do so.

    I print my digital photos, and I put them up on my walls, because that is why I photograph. I am grateful for 20+ megapixels and the opportunity of making incredible prints! I mean, why have high resolution if we’re not going to print? counterintuitive? YES!!!! The whole purpose of having these wonderful cameras IS to PRINT! OMG….It is dumb, I am sorry, but it is to waste high resolution on the web! Counterintuitive, and dumb.

    I don’t photograph so something gets buried on my hard drive where I’ll never see it again….or, put it on social media somewhere where I have to scroll for a month to see it again! Also counterintuitive!

    Why take pictures in the first place if you’ll never look at them again?

  • Sarpent

    In 2011, there were over 400 billion photos taken, and the number of those that were printed would likely be measured in the low hundreds of thousands. I, too, like to print, but to claim that printing is photography’s final product is swimming against a tsunami. To nearly all of humanity, it just isn’t true and it’s getting less true by the day.

  • A.G. Photography